We visited the home of senior social media manager Nadiah & design director Ridzwan on a perfect sun-filled afternoon. The couple shared about curating their home with vintage pieces they inherited, as well as their quirky plants. From a custom bookshelf for their burgeoning book collection to thrifted second-hand items, their home was akin to stepping into a mid-century modern sanctuary with a local twist.
Nadiah: “From young, I’ve always been drawn to the retro, vintage aesthetic. My mother used to say I was born in the wrong era. I think I’m a bit of an old soul and I think Ridzwan is the same.”
Ridzwan: “We are definitely old souls, and we share very similar aesthetics.
“Even from our dates at restaurants or holidays at different establishments, we find ourselves gravitating towards places that have a period charm from a bygone era.”
N: “I wake up quite early. First thing I do in the morning is walk over to the kitchen to boil some water and make coffee. Our house is fully connected and smart-home enabled so I can just ask Google to switch on the radio while I have my coffee.”
R: “I don’t really have a daily ritual, but with all the little accents that we did to the home, especially the lovely green feature wall in the bathrooms—it feels like I’m spending time in a hotel instead of a home. It really helps shift the mind to “somewhere else” especially when doing something as mundane as having a shower."
“Everything in our home reflects us and our curated choices.Even the plants have their own beauty and quirky characteristics. My favourite would be the lipstick which hangs on a macrame hanger - it’s a bit wild and untamed - reminds me of my own hair.”
R: “We’re thrifters/bargain hunters so we enjoy going to flea markets during our travels, as well as to second-hand shops locally as well. Most of the items are from Carousell or Cash Converters and stuff we’ve found that our families have held onto for generations.”
R: We’ve always been a team, but Nadiah and myself find ourselves complementing each other so that we get all our chores done and enjoy doing it together. For example, since we have a smart speaker in the kitchen, she can look for and research recipes while I listen to music doing the dishes.
N: “My favourite spot at home is the kitchen. I cook to unwind. Having a pantry that is well-stocked and having enough counter space to be able to roll out recipes on a whim sounds like an ideal weekend activity.”
R: “For me, it’s the living room, because that’s where we’ve built our feature floor-to-ceiling shelf that displays our substantial book collection. When we’re not watching TV, we would be just chilling, reading a good book whilst listening to good relaxing music.”
N: “My favourite piece of furniture is the antique wooden dresser in the bedroom. It’s an inherited piece from my late father - and he inherited it from his father before him. My paternal side of the family is comprised of songkok (Malay Cap) makers from Penang. Similarly, the dresser has some Peranakan influences such as the tiles and the carved engravings on the teak wood. My father passed away recently so this piece is extremely special to me.”
R: “My favourite’s definitely the typewriter. My mother held onto it for the longest time as it belonged to her father when he used to work in government administration. I tend to imagine all the important documents he wrote or created using that typewriter. We also did a DIY number on it to change its shell colour from a dull beige to a pop or orange on the shelf.”
R: “I love watching alternative ways of living and am inspired by those who leave as little carbon footprint as possible, e.g. tiny homes that run entirely on solar energy, or living inside a mobile home like a van/truck. I think it’s interesting how the younger group of people are not interested in owning homes but owning experiences, and how living a nomadic lifestyle could support that notion.”
“To me, home is a sanctuary. A place where I can have a measure of peace, or a space where memories are created with the ones I love.”
“This home is my safe space - where I go to unwind, to recharge.”